Family mourns death of loved one shot at a house party in Puyallup days before his 23rd birthday

Detectives with Pierce County Sheriff’s Office are actively looking for suspects on the run from a deadly shooting at a Puyallup house party.

A 22-year-old man was killed and an 18-year old man is fighting for his life after both were shot at a large house party in Puyallup early Sunday morning.

Monday, the family of 22-year-old Victor Zuniga visited the neighborhood where he was shot and set up a memorial to honor his life.

"It’s just been heartbreaking. We’re in denial. We don’t accept it yet," said Esmerelda Zuniga, Victor’s younger sister.

"There’s just so many memories that rush through my head and so many things that I think about. And I’m like I’m not going to be able to see that with him anymore," said Yesica Zuniga, Victor’s older sister.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said Zuniga was at a house party of about 70 people and 20 cars on the street early Sunday morning. Neighbors said they were awakened by at least a dozen gunshots around 3 a.m.

Zuniga and an 18-year-old man were hit. Zuniga later died at a hospital. His family said trying to find answers to what happened is like a confusing puzzle.

"There’s pieces missing, but you don’t know where to get them from, you don’t know which piece fits where and that’s what kind of drives us crazy is that we don’t know anything," said Esmerelda.

Detectives are interviewing witnesses and taking a closer look at home surveillance video. They said they hope cameras throughout the neighborhood caught something that may help their investigation. Zuniga’s family wants those responsible to speak up.

"If they have a conscience, they need to come clean or anybody because you guys don’t know the misery the family is going through, especially his mom and his dad," said Brenda Zuniga, Victor’s cousin.

Parents and family were preparing for a celebration of their own. Zuniga was only six days away from his 23rd birthday.

"Now instead of celebrating his birthday on Saturday, we’re going to be probably burying him or having his funeral. It’s just heartbreaking for us," said Yesica.

In their heartbreak, they still take time to remember Zuniga as a playful, protective man who always put his family first. Now, family will have to lean on each other without him.

"My mom, she says that whoever did this took half of her life away. And my dad, he hasn’t been good. We haven’t been good, our younger brother hasn’t been good—he cries for him all the time," said Yesica.

Zuniga’s family created a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses.

Deputies said the second victim remains in the ICU in serious condition. Investigators hope to talk to him about what happened once he recovers.

Anyone who may have seen or heard something that could help the case is asked to call the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 253-287-4455. People can also leave an anonymuos tip with Crime Stoppers Tacoma/Pierce County.